Archive for May, 2019

Call for community help on packaging SOFA for Mac

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

SOFA 1.5.1 has just been released but unfortunately only for Windows, Ubuntu, and other Linux distros. Mac users cannot install the latest version of SOFA and I suspect the package for SOFA 1.4.6 doesn’t work on modern Mac systems. So it is probably time to package SOFA 1.5.1 for contemporary Mac systems. Hence the call for community help.

I have managed to make a Windows package using pyinstaller and hopefully it will be relatively easy for a Mac developer with packaging skills (and already-installed software dependencies) to pick up the spec file and create a functional package for other Mac users. Obviously I would be willing to assist but without community help there won’t be a version of SOFA available for Mac.

Is this something you could help with – possibly in conjunction with a few other volunteers? I would be happy to add credits to the downloads page so people could recognise your input in making SOFA available on Mac. If interested contact me via

Version 1.5.1 mops up variety of bugs

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

SOFA Statistics 1.5.0 was a big change from previous versions in terms of its underlying technologies. Unfortunately that meant a number of bugs made it past release testing. Every bug identified so far has been fixed in 1.5.1 so now is a good time to upgrade.

SOFA turns 10!

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

SOFA Statistics was first released in May 2009. Since that time SOFA has been downloaded nearly 300,000 times – which is about 10,000 times more than I ever expected :-). Since that time many statistics packages have faded away and others have risen. Hopefully, SOFA Statistics has been a good option for many people and the recent replatforming onto Python 3 and wxPython 4 will enable SOFA to continue for many years to come.

Worked examples in 1.5.0

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Statistics can be mind bending and complex. It can make your brain hurt and your heart despair. But sometimes it is very simple and easy to follow. Four of the statistical tests provided by SOFA Statistics – namely

  • Mann-Whitney U
  • Wilcoxon’s Signed Ranks
  • Spearman’s Rho
  • Pearson’s Chi Square

– are reasonably easy to understand with worked examples. You could even say they are elegant in their simplicity. Check out the new worked examples feature of SOFA Statistics version 1.5.0.

The worked examples use your actual data so you should be able to follow the logic of the test step-by-step if you are interested in learning how it works. The goal is to demystify the tests and appreciate them better.

Other changes in version 1.5.0 include the following:

  • You can now choose the number of decimal places to show in report tables and charts.
  • Can display counts or percentage separately on pie charts.
  • Better smoothed line displayed for line charts.
  • Easier to run generated scripts for testing (only need to set use_locally boolean).
  • Better visual separation of subtables.
  • Charts can show N.
  • Improvements to darker themes.
  • Add ability to define table to automatically open on startup (using open_on_start setting in projs/default.proj).
  • Ask users if they want to override existing project if adding new project with an already-used name.
  • Upgraded to newer GUI library (wxPython 4.0).
  • Added new safeguards and user feedback when problems converting output to images.
  • Dropped support for xls (xlsx is supported alongside tsv, csv, ods etc)
  • Dropped support for CUBRID (largely because drivers for newer versions of Python are not available)

There are also numerous important bug fixes:

  • Important bug fix for filters with OR conditionals.
  • No longer fails to copy to clipboard when chart names include slashes.
  • Scatterplots now cope with variable names including percentage symbols.
  • Fixed bug displayed empty values in Display Data report tables.
  • Fixed bug with Select All/Deselect All button not working correctly in all cases.
  • Fixed bug when repairing duplicate names in import.
  • Only give project override warning when a new file
  • Add sky.css to styles deployed

SOFA Statistics has received a major overhaul under the hood for version 1.5.0 (for example, the shift to Python 3.6/7 from 2.7). Inevitably there will be some issues but the intention will be to resolve those as quickly as possible. Enjoy!